23rd March 2020

Obviously, this is a rapidly changing situation with new guidance coming from government and the national church frequently. As a staff we wondered how to respond now, and we will be updating and changing this as necessary.

At the moment (5pm 19th March 2020) we are not able to meet for worship, Fellowship or any other activity so our buildings are effectively out of use. There is no indication of how long this situation will continue.

So, we offer these suggestions.

Prayer

We may not be able to pray in the same building, but we can pray at the same time. So, I invite you to join us in prayer at 11am for 15 minutes (longer if you wish) each day, and to pray knowing that others round the circuit are doing the same thing.

On Sundays the staff will pray alone in a church building, working their way round the buildings week by week. This will keep the prayer in those spaces and mean we have a further check on the fabric.

I am sure you will know who and where to focus your prayers, but could I ask that you add our new super Jenny Dyer to your list as she is presently stuck in India trying to find a flight home.

You may already have a pattern of prayer and bible reading that you follow, but if you need an extra focus you could try reading a gospel right through. If so, try starting with Mark. Other things to read could be a Psalm or a hymn from the hymn book. There are various worship resources available on the internet and new things are being created which we may send out as they become available.

 

Caring for each other

This is more difficult as our natural inclination is to come together and we cannot do that. As a staff we will be keeping in touch with people by phone and there is no reason that we cannot do that for each other so that we keep our links and have people to share with as we deal with this strange time.

If you find yourself, or know of someone else in particular need please speak to your own minister and we will try to help in every way we can. Could you also try and identify people on the edge of your congregation or people with no family locally who might need some support?

In the wider setting Foodbank is intending to keep providing its service while being mindful of the demands of social distancing.

The circuit office is continuing to function for its usual hours at present. Please phone or email don’t visit.

 

Background issues

Finance – at present we are ok financially and have reserves we can use across the circuit while no-one has any income because things are closed. I would ask that you put your weekly offering to one side so when things resume and we are able to share worship again we can catch up financially.

We are taking steps to look after the property sensibly through this time.

 

As things change we will try to update what we are doing and how it will work.

For the moment the key thing is we support and care for each other in the ways that we can.

 

Thank you for all that you have and are doing.

 

Remember we are still the people of God and God in Jesus works through us.

God bless

 

Chris, Joyce, Kim and Paul

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